Technically, the piano is a percussion instrument, and it generates noise when the keys are depressed because each key is connected to a small hammer that strikes a string that is located inside the instrument. Pianos with broken keys, hammers or strings will not generate sound correctly and may not even generate any sound at all other than the sound of the key being struck. Piano players use their fingers and hands to depress the keys, which then triggers the string striking that generates musical notes that coordinate to the specific key being pressed.
The instrument known as a piano is actually formally called a pianoforte, and it is one of several keyboard-based instruments that generates sound through the depression of keys that trigger a hammer to strike a string. Other instruments in this category include harpsichords, organs and celestas.
Modern pianos tend to have 88 total keys, with 52 white and 36 black keys representing a range of musical notes that make up a total of seven octaves. Piano players will press multiple keys at a time with each hand in order to form chords.
In addition to keys, pianos include pedals. These pedals alter rather than generate sound. The piano player may depress a pedal in order to soften or sustain a note.Learn More
The black and white keys of the piano are made of wood covered with veneer. Most pianos that were made before 1960 have white keys with thin ivory tops. The black keys are traditionally made with ebony.Full Answer >
The Encyclopedia Britannica states that the standard number of keys on a modern piano is 88. A piano with that number of keys has a compass, or range of notes, of seven complete octaves plus a few keys.Full Answer >
To clean piano keys, use a soft cloth, dampened with a mild soap and water solution, to gently wipe the keys. It is also important to use a different cloth for cleaning the sharp keys to avoid staining the white ivory keys. Regular cleaning of piano keys is important because dirt and oil, from the fingers, tends to accumulate on the keys over time.Full Answer >
The piano belongs to the chordophone family according to the Hornbostel-Sachs system of classifying musical instruments. This system defines chordophones as instruments that produce sound through the vibration of strings that are stretched between two fixed points. The piano is classified under the subcategory of board zithers as an instrument where the strings are held by a board with a resonator box.Full Answer >